Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring Retreat Projects

Some of the projects that were worked on:


all pieced

ready for binding

great block

ready to send to the long-armer

just needs binding

she started quilting this before we left

A finish! 
Another finish!

log cabin blocks

ready to sandwich and quilt

tiny pieces and little blocks

close to being done

beautiful handwork

piecing finished!
I'll share my work too. I decided a little late to make this into a tablecloth and had to change the layout. It is for the patio table on our screened porch. Not positive I love the design but the colors scream summer to me!
my tablecloth
I finished a pillow cover. It will go on a bed size pillow that we keep on the couch in our family room. Think I'll call it Butterflies and Feathers.
my pillow cover
 This shows the batik on the back of the cover.
pillow cover and back

It was a fun retreat and I look forward to the next time we are all together.

Spring Retreat

I spent the past 3 days in Oregon, IL at the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center quilting with friends. On Thursday evening, tornadoes hit very close to this Center. We shared the campus with a team I think from Arkansas that came to help with the storm cleanup.

This group tries to quilt together once a year and it is so much fun to renew the friendships. We missed Leona this year - she is in Florida with family.

The rest of us enjoyed beautiful weather and visiting with each other.

We worked hard. Bets brought a number of things to work on.

Saundra stayed busy with a large project.

Ann was working on a large project with small pieces.

Barb had a few different things going.

Polly was able to do everything she planned to do!

Krista sat in front of me and accomplished lots.

Sandy wasn't sure why I need to take pictures...

Well... I needed to catch people sitting on the floor, playing with fabric...

... and someone dressing herself in quilt blocks!

In the next post, I'll share some of the projects.

Ray's Yarn but My Sweater!

We saw the yarn; 
Ray loved the yarn;
 We bought the yarn.

 We bought all they had. 
Then we couldn't find a pattern 
that only used that amount of yarn.  
We just didn't have enough. 

After months of looking, 
the yarn became mine. 
I had no trouble finding a pattern 
that used that amount of yarn. 

The pattern is Laurie by Josée Paquin.

The yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed DK.

The sweater is super soft.
It looks great with a navy scarf I own.

I'm really glad that
we saw the yarn,
Ray loved the yarn,
and we bought the yarn.
Because
I love the yarn too!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Underwear Blue

Two grandsons came to visit on Thursday. They often have a mental list when they come and it usually includes making cookies and sewing. Thursday was no different. After making chocolate chip cookies and eating lunch, we headed upstairs to the sewing rooms. They needed a new project so we began a donation quilt. I had a couple of blocks left from when I tried a technique I saw a while back and they made more.


I do not know where I saw this technique - if you know, please tell me so I can give credit. You do not end up with sharp points or any points for that matter but it is a fun process for beginner sewers.

1. Begin with a square for the center of the block. I'll call this square A.

2. Cut another square the same size as square A. I'll call this square B.

3. Place right sides of square A and B together and sew all four sides with 1/4" seams.  

4. On the wrong side of square B, draw an X from corner to corner. 
5. Now carefully cut the X through the square B side only. 


6. Press the triangles out from the center block.
 

7. Square up the piece. This is the new square A.

Repeat steps 2 - 7 until the block is the size you want it to be.

The center squares all came from a piece of fabric with construction vehicles. Younger grandson picked out a piece of fabric that he liked - the one on the bottom -
and I found some 'plain' yardage in those colors for the points on the blocks. He picked up one piece of blue fabric and called it underwear blue.

Underwear blue? I questioned that but wasn't really getting an answer so I asked the older boy. He said it looked like underwear. What? Later, while they were looking at the fabric, I watched and listened. Then I got it! They thought the selvage looked like the waistband on underwear and the design of the fabric looked like some they owned! I think there might be a lot of underwear fabrics in my stash!

Typically these two boys use the scraps in my stash. It never occurred to me that they've never seen the selvage on yardage. 

Don't you love sewing your children or grandchildren? I do!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Getting Ready... and counting our blessings

Getting ready for the big upcoming trip is keeping me busy! Lodging is pretty much in place. The emphasis is now on food - what will we cook??? I think this is one of the places that the dehydrator is paying off. We'll be taking a number of meals with us. 

Today I began assembling things - mostly for soups. Each packet is labeled so I know the contents and what I need to add.  

So far we have:
  • Stir Fry - onion, zucchini, yellow squash, okra, carrots, mushrooms, and pea pods.
  • Stir Fry - onion, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, and sugar snap peas.
  • Cauliflower soup - cauliflower, onions, celery, garlic, carrots, and spices.
  • Hamburger Stew - corn, green beans, onions, carrots. The cornstarch and bouillon are in separate bags within the larger packet.
  • Potato Carrot Soup - shredded potatoes, carrots, green pepper, onion.
  • Vegetable Soup - potatoes, green onions, tomatoes, summer squash and zucchini, carrots, cabbage, and Lima beans.
  • Chicken and Vegetable Soup - carrots, green beans, onions, tomatoes, and garlic.
  • Shredded Potato Soup - shredded potatoes and green onions.
  • Beef Barley Soup - barley, carrots, mushrooms, onions, celery, and a bay leaf.



And a few sides:
  • Au Gratin Squash Casserole - summer squash, zucchini, and onions.
  • Green beans.
  • Carrots.
  • Cauliflower.



These are now all packaged in Mylar and labeled - ready to go!

I've tried a few new things in the dehydrator - when it comes to fruit, I haven't found anything that the two older grandsons that live near us don't like! They love the watermelon slices (in the background) and watermelon/apple crazy fruit. Ray isn't crazy about the watermelon.

The strawberry/kiwi crazy fruit is a favorite of mine.

We all like the cantaloupe and especially the banana/cantaloupe crazy fruit.

The banana/pineapple crazy fruit is wonderful!


===========

A year ago we were waiting for Ray's cancer surgery. It was a stressful time. We are so blessed that all seemed to turn out well. We now know the cancer was just leaving the prostate - just turning into Stage 3. Ray continues to do well!

Four years ago we were waiting for my back surgery. It was a stressful time. I am so blessed that it went well and I had Ray, a fantastic caregiver. Technically I am still recovering for another year and I continue to see progress!

We have chosen to enjoy life as much as possible. My Dad always said "Everyday's a holiday!". Oh how right he was! He chose to live his 61 years that way and now we are doing the same. This Easter season we are blessed to still enjoy each day the way we choose. 

We celebrate this Easter with prayers of glory and thanks.
Happy Easter!

Monday, March 23, 2015

FMQ Challenge 2015 - March

I am really enjoying the FMQ Challenge BUT this month I am a bad student! Instead of making a pillow, I made a table runner! I know I won't be eligible for prizes but I'm here to learn not win! 

The FMQ Challenge is hosted by QuiltShopGal and you might want to stop over there and see all the neat pillows that all the other good students made. This month's expert is Patsy Thompson who does gorgeous free motion quilting. Patsy was the expert for the December 2012 FMQ Challenge and I didn't get to do that month so I was happy to have this opportunity. 

I spent LOTS of time with pencil and paper while I sketched border designs. Then, while making some table mats/runners, I decided one was perfect to try what I was learning. You can see all 5 of my mats/runners here.

This mat is made from batiks, even the backing. The batting is Dream Poly. I used Aurifil thread to do the quilting.

The center is a small spiral with flower petals surround it. Sorry it's so hard to see. The petals are then echoed to fill the space. The inside cream 'border' is a wavy feather design that Patsy suggested. It was fun to do and I loved the way it turned out. The red 'border' is a wavy line of about a 1/2 inch scale going back and forth.

The next cream 'border' is more of the wavy feathers while the last red 'border' has more wavy lines with stones on each side.
The corners before the border each have a small 3 part feather. The outside border is a design that could be a lazy river or a tree bark.

I enjoyed the challenge this month - partly because I just happened to have the perfect project and mostly because I learned some new things.

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